Who we are is the leadership spirit. How we think is the spirit of leadership Who we are is the ability. How we think is the mentality ~ Dr Miles Munroe
I want to pause for a second and talk a bit about mentality. Rather mental contamination. I see today’s parents more concerned about taking their children to what is perceived as the best schools, dressing them in the most fashionable attire and stuff their faces with junk food from the latest pizza spot and fried chicken. This is what is now viewed as ‘love’. I view it as children deprived of acknowledgement and reassurance from their guardians when they were growing up. This made them insecure and lack clarity of right from wrong. As adults, they have never known the secret of what a happy and loving life looks like.
There is no emphasis on the important qualities that need to be instilled. Qualities such as self-love, respect, effective communication, integrity, and leadership. Just imagine how many of today’s problems would be manageable if our children learnt these values. There is a saying that there are born leaders and leaders that are made. Well I want to challenge it and say that we are all born being leaders.
In the occasion that we hear the word ‘leader’ mentioned, it is easy to assume leader of people is the kind meant. Well not everyone can be a leader of the people. But every single being has a gift they are born with, that they seem to have a kind of intelligence over. That which without even trying, they excel in doing. Where your gift lies, that is your area of leadership.
Unfortunately humans, unlike other manufactured items, do not come with a manual attached to their package. Think of it… How cool would it be that with every child birth, a manual of the infant came along with it. Imagine a midwife yelling after the baby has been birthed “we now need you to give a final push so we can get it’s manual out! come on! You can do it! Usiogope mama!” And with one last massive push, a manual with details on how the baby works would pop out. Oh how wonderful that would be! But to learn how a product works, you consult with it’s manufacturer. I don’t know about you, but I was taught that we are all created by God, in his likeness. So if you want to read your a manual of how you work, what better place to look than his word, famously known as the Bible.
We all have a deep desire to feel important. To discover a sense of significance in our lives. Becoming a leader not only provides this, but also guides you to discover your purpose. To help me understand what differentiates a leader from a follower, for the past few months I researched on leadership qualities from the ones I know in real life and reading books on leadership. The best explained was an audio interpretation of what the Bible dictates of a leader, by Dr Miles Munroe. Which I have made reference for this piece. I noticed a constant of these qualities, from all my different resources. If you want to become a leader, the list below will provide insight. If you want to know how to identify a true leader, these points can be used for reference.
- You have to believe you are inherently a leader
This one may require hypnosis of your brain by way of repetition. They told you, you deserve the least. That you are not good enough. That you are incompetent. You would never achieve anything worth noting. And you believed them. I now need you to undo all that garbage they fed you. Because most of the time, people live out their insecurities by putting others down. That one person who is the meanest in the room is broken and insecure. So what you may see as a tough lion that roars orders and insults is a beaten down and scared child inside. Inherent means you are born with it. You just have to discover it. Believe that you are a born leader and soon others will follow.
2. Commit to principles and Values
~ To whom much is given equally much is required~
A leader must promise himself on things he will never do. Certain standards you will never break. A code of ethics and values that will never be violated by you. If someone comes to you asking you to compromise your job, you are the problem. For someone to think they can come to you to break a law for you to benefit, you are not loud enough about your values. It is a sign that your character is already compromised. Leaders declare their values openly and preach their code of ethics from mountain tops. To become a leader, you must practice self discipline to uphold your principles and values. Because the mark of a true leader is self discipline.
3. Become a Lion
There are two creatures that God identifies Himself with. The lion and the eagle. The lion is not as tall as the giraffe, as heavy as the elephant, as smart as the hyena, or even as fast as a cheater but yet he is the king of the jungle. You do not need to have a sort of advantage over others to be a leader. The one thing that separates a leader from a follower is their attitude. Develop an attitude to conquer. Work on your attributes and match them to your attitude to realize your true potential. So an important lesson to learn from the lion is that ability does not make a leader, it is their mentality that makes them a leader.
4. Express Passion
Leaders will always tell you what they are passionate about. Every time you meet them they play the same tape that is their passion over and over again They will never tire of speaking about it. Let me ask you a question. Have you ever heard of a pregnant woman leaving her pregnancy at home? “Please book me in for a two pm massage. No I won’t be needing a special bed this time, I will be leaving my pregnancy at home.” Ridiculous right? Passion is like pregnancy. You permanently carry it with you everywhere you go. There are no off days, no matter how tired you feel. So never stop sharing about your passion. You will need help in making it a reality. If you meet someone tomorrow and their passion has changed or they grew tired of it, that was not a passion…that was a hobby.
5. Leaders have a true sense of purpose
Purpose is the source of vision. Purpose is your reason for being conceived. Your vision is your purpose in pictures. One of my favorite quotes is ‘there are two days that are most important in your life. One is the day you were born, and the second is the day you discover the reason you were born.’ Finding the reason for your existence on earth means you stop to exist and start to live. A leader knows his purpose for being put on earth and works towards making it a reality.
Your passion is the gift of doing that which you love. Your purpose is a gift to the world through acts of service, using your passion.
6. Empower others
They make other people believe in their ability to be great. They do not increase their followers, but in stead make leaders from their followers. They make the weak believe that they are strong. The poor believe they are rich. The hopeless become hopeful. The lost, find a map. A leader will not hoard on knowledge and skills that they can pass on, because they are afraid of someone else becoming better. To do this, you must be confident in your spirit of leadership.
6. Leaders are a product of their own raw material
A leader does not clone others. Even though they have people they look up to. They find their true identity and work to elevate it. They are comfortable in their most natural form. They are one with their inner power. You cannot convince them otherwise of their fate to succeed.
7. Discipline Yourself to protect Your purpose.
You will never find a leader going out often to weird places. They have a narrow life. They are very strict on them selves. To become a great man or woman, you have to lead a narrow life. So narrow that only a chosen few can fit in. Certain things you can’t do because you don’t have the time for them. If you want to be a leader, you must ditch all the distractions in your life. Your phone, your friends, the unnecessary trips, bar and night club hangouts. You will never find a leader in a bar at two am. They have more important things to attend to.
8. Coordinate Resources
Everything is a resource. Leaders will manage resources allocated to them and ensure no avoidable loss is experienced. Man as a resource needs to be utilized effectively to maximize on returns from funds spent on payroll. The friends you have in your network can either be a resource or deficit. A good indication of whether you need a change of friends is if you are always answering the questions but you can’t consult them on an important matter. As a leader, decision making will be a daily requirement. You won’t always have the right answer immediately. So keeping a circle that is wise and practical will contribute to well thought out decisions. The most important resource is time. Manage it well to ensure not to leave any important matters pending. Finally, choose wisely on what to donate your energy to. As a leader, a lot is demanded from you. People will expect you to operate like a superhero. Choose wisely on what your energy is directed to.
9. Manage Priorities
Leaders are very clear on what is important from what is urgent. Many times, the things that are urgent are not important. This is key, for a leader to be efficient in his role. Understanding what is important in their life helps them prioritize in order on what to focus on it. Next they will manage their list of importance to maintain a good balance and attend to what is required.
10. Mentor a successor
Leaders focus on the future and plan on how the legacy will be managed even after their time. They will build and train a successor to become even better than them. The successor will then protect and grow what the leader built. Finish what was started. A mentor will care for and protect all the people under his care.
Thank you for reading this far, I sincerely hope that this was insightful and practical to empower you. I will put a pause on the topic for now to avoid this piece being too long and time consuming. However, I will come up with a second part if the public demands it. Leave a comment below saying “Part two please!” If you you would like to see more on this topic.
If you have points that you feel should have made the list, pop them down below on the comment section and keep the conversation going.
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